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How donated blood is used

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Red Cells

The majority of donated blood goes to people with cancer, as well as people who have suffered traumatic accidents, burns or those undergoing surgery.

How donated blood is used


Plasma contains very important proteins, nutrients and clotting factors which help to prevent and stop bleeding. It is the most versatile component of your blood and donated plasma makesup to 18 life-saving products that help patients with trauma, burns and blood diseases.

Find out more about donating plasma.


Your platelet donation helps patients with low platelet count or non-functioning platelets who are bleeding or at high risk of bleeding. This may occur during high dose chemotherapy, bone marrow transplantation, major surgery, liver disease or severe trauma. 

Platelets play a crucial role in ensuring our blood can clot when needed. Platelets also contain growth factors that aid in the repair of damaged body tissue.

Find out more about donating platelets.

Blood has a short shelf life

All blood components have a short shelf life, creating the need for a constant blood supply.

  • Platelets - up to 5 days
  • Red cells- up to 42 days
  • Plasma - up to one year

Interested in donating?